What you need to know:
- At the apex of His redeeming ministry, Jesus was welcomed in Jerusalem as “Son of David”, because He manifested a God-fearing and benevolent character, like king David.
Given its dignity, humanity deserves good leadership, and indeed, has a right to it. The holy scriptures describe good leadership as God-fearing and people-centred. But that has rarely been the case.
1Samuel 16:14, describes Saul, the first king of Israel, as a bad leader whom God chose to replace with King David.
“After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22).
David was humble, reverent, respectful, trusting, loving, devoted, faithful, obedient and repentant servant of God and of the people. In the book of Psalms, David manifests his devotion to God.
Putting the redeemer of leadership in perspective, Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod, whom the gospel describes as a despot. He desired to kill the newborn king to save his reign. At the apex of His redeeming ministry, Jesus was welcomed in Jerusalem as “Son of David”, because He manifested a God-fearing and benevolent character, like king David.
In the creed
The Nicene Creed, an essential statement of what Christians believe, portrays Pontius Pilate, as a Roman governor who used violence to stay in power.
At the apex of Jesus’ mission to save mankind, from the despotic power of Satan, Pilate bypasses the truth and condemns to death an innocent person. He had, ironically been bribed by the the religious leaders, who were supposed to be the custodians of the Jewish faith, and representatives of God. Both categories of leadership were guilty of abuse of power.
Traits of a leader
Jesus manifested the ideal character of leadership when He wept for the people who had refused to accept His messianic credentials, because they were rejecting the moment of grace. He described His leadership in terms of a mother hen trying to gather her brood (John 18).
Jesus, through his crucifixion and death, proved Himself to be the King and Saviour of all.
The Church calendar (liturgical) closes with the feast of Christ the King of the universe. The feast was introduced by Pope Pius XI in 1925 to provide sound guidance to all categories of leadership, in the historical context of totalitarianism, fascism and atheism, and their threats to the religious liberty of Christ’s church.
Politics of Jesus
Pope Pius XI teaches that Jesus’ kingship is rooted in his relationship to God the Father. It extends into earthly matters, such as political and civil affairs.
According to Romans 13:1-2, everyone who holds public authority exercises their power through the kingship of Christ. It is for this reason that such authorities are owed respect and obedience.
The politics of Jesus transcend any human political party or ideology. His message is about the government of God that will rule the world to bring about world peace! Instead of revolution or revolt, Jesus taught peace and nonviolence.
On one occasion, a crowd of followers was very impressed with Jesus’ miraculous ability to feed thousands of people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. So, they attempted to take Him by force and make Him their king! Jesus escaped their intentions, however, and departed to a mountain alone (John 6:5-15).
The deepest issues facing humanity are spiritual in nature and will require spiritual solutions. Human politics alone cannot save souls or produce a truly better world to live in. Christianity is not a pie in the sky.
Christians must be aware of their earthly and heavenly citizenship. They have a moral responsibility to influence public policy for the common good; and to influence others, basing on Christian values.
On the feast of Christ the King, we pray as our Saviour taught us: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10).